Electronic navigation system and method

The invention provides a method and system for providing route guidance and other information from a base unit to a remote unit in response to a request from the remote unit. A query is formatted at the remote unit, the query including the request, and is transmitted from the remote unit to the base unit. Requested route guidance information is calculated at the base unit in response to the query, using a large up-to-date database located at the base unit. A response to the query is formatted at the base unit, the response including route guidance information. The response is then transmitted from the base unit to the remote unit for display. The transmission is made in a compact form through the use of maneuver arms and combined maneuver arms and through the use of tokenized forms. A maneuver arm represents a road at an intersection, for depiction on a display, by one or two endpoint coordinates. The tokenized forms are expanded at the remote unit into textual driving instructions for each of one or more languages. In addition, the amount of information available at a remote unit can be increased by providing the remote unit with information from the base unit which is not adequately covered by any databases on-board the remote unit.

Skip to:  ·  Claims  ·  References Cited  · Patent History  ·  Patent History

Claims

1. A method of transmitting route directions in a compact form, comprising the steps of:

(a) generating a first set of maneuver arms for providing a graphical representation of a calculated route to be taken by a vehicle through an intersection and geometric representations of a plurality of segments of roads to be traveled about an intersection along the route, wherein the intersection is an origin, and said representations of each of said plurality of segments of roads starts at the origin and radiates outward to an endpoint Xi, Yi to approximate the angles at which the roads approach the intersection, to depict a first intersection on a display, each maneuver arm of the first set of maneuver arms being represented by at least one endpoint;
(b) generating a second set of maneuver arms to depict a second intersection on a display, each maneuver arm of the second set of maneuver arms being represented by at least one endpoint;
(c) comparing the proximity of the first intersection and the second intersection and, if the first intersection and the second intersection are within a predetermined range of each other, combining the first set of maneuver arms with the second set of maneuver arms to produce a combined set of endpoints to depict the first set of maneuver arms and the second set of maneuver arms on a common display; and
(d) transmitting the combined set of endpoints to a remote unit in electromagnetic form.

2. A method of efficiently transmitting routing directions and driving actions, said method comprising the steps of:

(a) generating a routing direction and a driving action for a user;
(b) expressing the routing direction and the driving action in at least one of a plurality of tokenized forms, each of said plurality of tokenized forms representing a pre-defined routing direction and driving action in compact form;
(c) electromagnetically transmitting said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms to a remote unit;
(d) receiving said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms at said remote unit; and
(e) at said remote unit, expanding said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms received in step (d) into a textual driving instruction indicating what direction a vehicle should proceed at an intersection and what additional driving action should be taken, for display to a user at said remote unit.

3. A method as set forth in claim 2, further comprising the steps of:

(f) receiving instructions from said user specifying that textual driving instructions be displayed in one or more languages; and
(g) at said remote unit, expanding said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms, received in step (d), into a textual driving instruction for each of said one or more languages specified in step (f).

4. A method as set forth in claim 2, further comprising the steps of:

(f) in step (c), transmitting a road name to said remote unit along with said one of said plurality of tokenized forms; and
(g) in step (e), inserting the road name transmitted in step (f) into expanded text corresponding to said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms received in step (d).

5. A system for generating and transmitting route directions in a compact form, comprising:

(a) a base unit which
(i) generates a first set of maneuver arms for providing a gaphical representation of a calculated route to be taken by a vehicle through an intersection and geometric representations of a plurality of segments of roads to be traveled about an intersection along the route, wherein the intersection is an origin and said representations of each of said plurality of segments of roads starts at the origin and radiates outward to an endpoint Xi, Yi to approximate the angles at which the roads approach the intersections, to depict a first intersection on a display, each maneuver arm of the first set of maneuver arms being represented by at least one endpoint,
(ii) generates a second set of maneuver arms to depict a second intersection on a display, each maneuver arm of the second set of maneuver arms being represented by at least one endpoint, and
(iii) compares the proximity of the first intersection and the second intersection and, if the first intersection and the second intersection are within a predetermined range of each other, combines the first set of maneuver arms with the second set of maneuver arms to produce a combined set of endpoints to depict the first set of maneuver arms and the second set of maneuver arms on a common display; and
(b) a communications link to transmit the combined set of endpoints to a remote unit in electromagnetic form.

6. A system for generating and transmitting routing directions comprising:

(a) a base unit which
(i) generates a routing direction and driving action for a user and
(ii) expresses the routing direction and driving action in at least one of a plurality of tokenized forms, each of said plurality of tokenized forms representing a pre-defined routing direction and driving action in compact form;
(b) a communications link to electromagnetically transmit said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms; and
(c) a remote unit which
(i) receives said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms from the communications link, and
(ii) expands said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms into a textual driving instruction indicating what direction a vehicle should proceed at an intersection and what additional driving action should be taken, for communication to a user at said remote unit.

7. A system as set forth in claim 6, wherein:

the remote unit receives instructions from the user specifying that textual driving instructions be displayed in one or more languages; and
the remote unit expands said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms into a textual driving instruction for each of said one or more languages specified by the user.

8. A system as set forth in claim 6, wherein:

the communications link transmits a road name to said remote unit along with said one of said plurality of tokenized forms; and
the remote unit inserts the road name transmitted by the communications link into expanded text corresponding to said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms.

9. A system as set forth in claim 6, wherein the remote unit includes a display for said communication to said user at said remote unit.

10. A system as set forth in claim 6, wherein the remote unit includes an annunciator for said communication to said user at said remote unit.

11. A method of efficiently transmitting routing directions and driving actions, said method comprising the steps of:

(a) generating a routing direction and driving action for a user;
(b) expressing the routing direction and driving action in at least one of a plurality of tokenized forms, each of said plurality of tokenized forms representing a pre-defined routing direction and driving action in compact form;
(c) electromagnetically transmitting said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms to a remote unit;
(d) receiving said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms at said remote unit; and
(e) at said remote unit, expanding said at least one of said plurality of tokenized forms received in step (d) into a textual driving instruction indicating what direction a vehicle should proceed at an intersection and what additional driving action should be taken, for annunciation to a user at said remote unit.

Referenced Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

4301506 November 17, 1981 Turco
4311876 January 19, 1982 Endo et al.
4428057 January 24, 1984 Setliff et al.
4466125 August 14, 1984 Kanayama
4481584 November 6, 1984 Holland
4546439 October 8, 1985 Esparza
4570227 February 11, 1986 Tachi et al.
4642775 February 10, 1987 Cline et al.
4733356 March 22, 1988 Haeussermann et al.
4758959 July 19, 1988 Thoone et al.
4780717 October 25, 1988 Takanabe et al.
4812843 March 14, 1989 Champion, III et al.
4951212 August 21, 1990 Kurihara et al.
4954958 September 4, 1990 Savage et al.
5043902 August 27, 1991 Yokoyama et al.
5172321 December 15, 1992 Ghaem et al.
5243528 September 7, 1993 Lefebvre
5262775 November 16, 1993 Tamai et al.
5283575 February 1, 1994 Kao et al.
5291412 March 1, 1994 Tamai et al.
5291413 March 1, 1994 Tamai et al.
5293163 March 8, 1994 Kakihara et al.
5293484 March 8, 1994 Dabbs, III et al.
5396429 March 7, 1995 Hanchett
5559707 September 24, 1996 DeLorme et al.

Foreign Patent Documents

0 379 198 A3 July 1990 EPX
3150699 June 1991 JPX
WO 92/14215 August 1992 WOX
WO 92/21001 November 1992 WOX

Other references

  • Hoffman, Steve and Stewart, Charles, "Text-based Routing: An Affordable Way Ahead?", Proceedings of the IEEE-IEE Vehicle Navigation & Information System Conference, Ottawa, Canada -VNIS 1993. PCT -Notification of Transmittal of the International Search Report, dated Nov. 2, 1995, in International application No. PCT/US95/07859, Applicant Shields Enterprises, Inc. "Smart cars, Smart Highways," Collier, W. Clay and Weiland, Richard J., IEEE Spectrum, Apr. 1994, pp. 27-33.

Patent History

Patent number: 5808566
Type: Grant
Filed: Jun 23, 1995
Date of Patent: Sep 15, 1998
Assignee: Navigation Technologies Corporation (Rosemont, IL)
Inventors: David A. Behr (Roselle, IL), Ramesh Ramakrishnan (Mount Prospect, IL)
Primary Examiner: Brent A. Swarthout
Law Firm: Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
Application Number: 8/494,198

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: 340/995; Vehicle Position Indication (340/988); 701/208; 701/211
International Classification: G08G 1123;